10 August 2011

Book recommendations & feeling guilty

Recently I had a little conversation with Chachic about recommending books and why I feel bad when someone doesn't like a book I recommended to him. 
It's weird, but I would never be disappointed in or angry at a reader or a blogger just because he recommended a book to me that I disliked. To the contrary I would just think that not all books are for all readers and that the other person is not at fault for the recommendation. 

But whenever I recommend a book (and that's all I'm doing on this blog) I'm feeling guilty when a reader doesn't like it. So far it never happened that a reader was mean to me just because a recommendation didn't work for him and I'm hoping that something like that will never happen. But still it's weird that I would feel guilty about recommending a book even though I know that reading tastes differ. 

Another weird thing is that I only feel bad about reading recommendations with people I don't know closely. I buy a lot of books for my sister Patrizia, sometimes she loves them and sometimes she doesn't. So far I have never felt guilty when she didn't like a book. Maybe because I know her in real life and because we can talk in person about about the books it's different to recommending a book to someone online. 

I know that feeling guilty about a book recommendation that didn't work for a reader is useless and pretty silly. So I'm going to work on staying more relaxed in these situations. I only recommend the books I truly enjoyed, so there's absolutly no reason to feel guilty. 

I want to know how you feel when a reader didn't enjoy a book you recommended. Do you also feel a bit guilty? Or are you more relaxed than I am?
Do you enjoy recommending books to your friends and other readers you met online?


  1. Oh good, I thought it was just me! I always feel guilty if some doesn't like a book I recommended, be it friend, family or someone I don't know all that well. I don't even really know why, cause like you, I would never blame someone else for recommending it if it didn't work for me either...
    Guess I just care too much about my books :)

  2. I feel guilty too, and the more I hype up the book, the more guilty I feel when they don't like it. One of my friends has had my copy of Outlander for almost a year now because I told her she should read it (it's my favorite series), and she still hasn't. And now we joke everytime she wants me to read a book that I'll wait until she finishes Outlander. I'm gonna feel crappy if she doesn't like it!

  3. I feel guilty too. It makes me question myself. If I really like a book, and then someone else gives it 1 or 2 stars and rips it apart, it makes me wonder if I'm an incompetent reviewer! I hope not. I try to take it as not everyone will like every book. I don't know.

  4. I've never really felt guilty when a book recommendation I've given hasn't worked out. What works for me won't work for everybody. I have encountered bloggers who give glowing five star reviews to every book they read, and for me, that doesn't ring true, so while I often give negative reviews, I'm at least comfortable in the knowledge that I'm not giving people false hope for bad books!

  5. There's nothing to feel guilty about. You already said so yourself - tastes are different. But I can understand that sometimes it's just impossible to rationally steer your feelings in a certain direction. I guess it just means that you want everybody else to enjoy the books you love. You had a good time, so you want everybody else to be happy as well. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with that - just the opposite. It shows how serious you are about reviewing. I'm not recommending a lot of books, but I do feel kind of the same way, when I'm discussing them with my best friend. Although I have to confess that I'm usually more irritated than guilty xD... Oh! One last thing... a few days ago I left a comment under your review on "Out of the Blue", saying that I had two big problems with it. I finished the book and after getting used to the writing style I really loved it. Just wanted to let you know - nothing to feel guilty about there! xD

  6. Yes i feel guilty which is totally stupid cos it is not my fault. I just told her I loved the book, that does not mean she also will

  7. I don't exactly feel guilty about recommending a book to someone. It's never really certain how someone will react to a book.

    I do get nervous when someone picks something up I've been raving about, I want them to like it too but I'm afraid they might not :/
    Actually right now a friend is reading something I've mentioned to her a couple of times, but I've got no clue whether she'll like it, I'm pretty sure she won't hate it, but who knows.

    Anyway I think every reader has to decide themselves what they want to read. Sure there's reviews and recommendations to consider but ultimately everyone makes his own choice. It's not like anyone forces books on anyone else, right? ^^

  8. Yes! I totally feel guilty when I recommend a book and someone doesn't like it. I guess I feel as though I may have wasted their time by having them read the book. So I don't really like to recommend books to people anymore. I just blog to share my own thoughts. Thank goodness people are entitled to their own opinions!

  9. No, I don't feel guilty. I post a honest review on my own blog of the books I read. I discuss them with my best friend, and often if I really think she will like them too, she does. But not always. And vice versa. We share a lot of similar tastes, but at the edges of the genres, not so much.

  10. I haven't had much problem with this. Most people I recommend books to never get around to reading them anyway. But I try to take it in stride. I recommend books to my husband and often I pick pretty good but sometimes I am limiting him. We have found several times when what I thought he wouldn't like was completely wrong. Just keep that in mind. There is no absolute way to know just what will make a person happy. I have read plenty of books that people had the complete opposite opinion as myself.

  11. Yay, a discussion post! I love discussion posts. Thanks for mentioning me in yours and linking to my blog.

    It's funny that we become nervous when we highly recommend a book because we want other people to love it as much as we did and we feel guilty if they don't. But when we're on the other side of the situation, we never blame the bloggers who recommend the books that we read even when we feel like the book isn't for us. I guess it's only natural to want people to like the same things that you do? But we can't all like the same things even when we have similar tastes in books because our reading experiences are different - we don't lead the same lives so we're bound to have different reactions.

  12. I won't feel guilty. Not everyone has the same interest as yours.
    I love to recommend books to friends and readers too that I met online.

  13. I know exactly how you feel. That's why when I recommend, I always try to make sure first what kind of person I'm recommending the book to, what type of reader he/she is, etc. I just feel like it really depends on who the person is at the end of the day. I sometimes base it off that instead of just a book that I personally loved.

    However, there are some books that I always recommend, and that have been liked and loved by all when they finally get to read it! those are usually my go-to book recs for others.

  14. I think there's definitely that "hold your breath" feeling when handing off your beloved book to someone who you hope will love it as much as you. I haven't run into a situation where someone hasn't enjoyed a book that I've recommended to them. And I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, but I'm very careful when it comes to recommending. I've hardly recommended any books to my online YA friends (since most are reviewers themselves and have read far more books that I have). But for those folks I've given books to in real life, I tend to know what floats or sinks their boats.

    I've felt the reverse though, when I don't enjoy a book as much as I thought I would, from someone I really trust. This makes me feel guilty. Sometimes I feel like "I don't get it," but like you've said in your post and some commenters have mentioned, every book might mean something different to everyone.




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